EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 490, Number 3, November II 2008
Page(s) 1135 - 1142
Section Stellar atmospheres
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:200810398
Published online 17 September 2008

A&A 490, 1135-1142 (2008)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:200810398

Chemical abundances of late-type pre-main sequence stars in the $\sigma$ Orionis cluster

J. I. González Hernández1, 2, J. A. Caballero3, 4, R. Rebolo4, 5, V. J. S. Béjar4, D. Barrado y Navascués6, E. L. Martín4, and M. R. Zapatero Osorio4

1  Observatoire de Paris-Meudon, GEPI, 5 place Jules Janssen, 92195 Meudon Cedex, France
    e-mail: Jonay.Gonzalez-Hernandez@obspm.fr
2  Cosmological Impact of the First STars (CIFIST) Marie Curie Excellence Team, France
3  Dpto. de Astrofísica y Ciencias de la Atmósfera, Facultad de Física, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain
4  Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, 38205 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
5  Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Spain
6  Laboratorio de Astrofísica Espacial y Física Fundamental, INTA, PO Box 78, 28691 Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid, Spain 

Received 16 June 2008 / Accepted 23 August 2008

Context. The young $\sigma$ Orionis cluster is an important location for studying the formation and evolution of stars, brown dwarfs, and planetary-mass objects. Its metallicity, although it is a fundamental parameter, has not been well determined yet.
Aims. We present the first determination of the metallicity of nine young late-type stars in $\sigma$ Orionis.
Methods. Using the optical and near-infrared broadband photometry available in the literature we derive the effective temperatures for these nine cluster stars, which lie in the interval 4300–6500 K (1–3 ${M}_\odot$). These parameters are employed to compute a grid of synthetic spectra based on the code MOOG and Kurucz model atmospheres. We employ a $\chi^2$-minimization procedure to derive the stellar surface gravity and atmospheric abundances of Al, Ca, Si, Fe, Ni and Li, using multi-object optical spectroscopy taken with WYFFOS+AF2 at the William Herschel Telescope ( $\lambda/\delta\lambda\sim7500$).
Results. The average metallicity of the $\sigma$ Orionis cluster is $\rm [Fe/H] = -0.02\pm0.09\pm0.13$ (random and systematic errors). The abundances of the other elements, except lithium, seem to be consistent with solar values. Lithium abundances are in agreement with the “cosmic” 7Li abundance, except for two stars which show a $\log
\epsilon(\mathrm{Li})$ in the range 3.6–3.7 (although almost consistent within the error bars). There are also other two stars with $\log
\epsilon(\mathrm{Li})\sim 2.75$. We derived an average radial velocity of the $\sigma$ Orionis cluster of $28\pm4$ ${\rm km}\:{\rm s}^{-1}$.
Conclusions. The $\sigma$ Orionis metallicity is roughly solar.

Key words: stars: abundances -- stars: pre-main sequence -- Galaxy: open clusters and associations: individual: $\sigma$ Orionis

© ESO 2008